Thursday, March 21, 2013

Operation Cookie Takover...Nebraska Style

Around two months ago I came across a page on Facebook that sparked my interest.

It was this.

And the more I read, the more I wanted to participate.

What I read was this:  Operation Cookie Takeover is a way to show support to our troops currently deployed in Afghanistan. Our goal is to send 1,200+ cookies to our fellow cookier serving in Afghanistan, Tasha. She will be distributing your cookies to every member on her base on April 10, 2013.

So I volunteered to send over four dozen.  That's 48 cookies for you non-math types.

Then I waited, forgot about it, and then remembered again since I'd put it on my calendar and finally got instructions on how to mail them and when they needed to leave. 

And I got excited.

Then I got nervous.  Because I was seeing amazing cookies like this getting packaged to go over.

Custom Cookies by Jill
And these...

Melissa Joy Cookies
Or this...

Artfully Delicious Cookies
And that doesn't even skim the surface of what people are sending over.

Yeah, see why I was nervous.

So after thinking for awhile I decided to not necessarily send over American flags or little military people.  I went with the obvious. 

I'm from Nebraska.

And proud to be Nebraskan.

And I know there are many fellow Nebraskans serving in our military.  So why not make Nebraska cookies, military style.

Which means making them camouflage.

And that's just what I did.

Outlined in red, because if one color sums up Nebraska it's red.

And then the fun and it's-so-easy-I-can't-mess-this-up decorating.  Just start by making camo frosting colors then start making little blobs all over the cookie.

Then add on the next color...

And another and another.

Then let dry...and re-outline them in red again.

And finally package them up with more bubble wrap than one would think was possible. 

Those suckers aren't moving an inch.

I tapped the box shut because they mentioned that sand is an evil little thing - and can get into anything.  So I thought I'd try to help the problem by taping up the boxes.

Heck, these cookies are headed to Afghanistan.

I can't wait to see pictures of people enjoying the cookies.

Did I mention that the original goal was 1,200 cookies?  Yeah...well...get this.  Operation Cookie Takeover ended up having 11,000 cookies pledged to send over to troops.  11,000.  That is AMAZING.

But I hope that the cookies are enjoyed by people who are making our freedom possible.  A thank you for their sacrifices doesn't seem like it's enough...but I hope they know how thankful I am.

God Bless our Troops.

And God Bless America.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Spring Cleaning in a Snow storm

This past Monday I didn't have to go to school.

FYI school in this scenario = work.

Why you ask?

Well, we had a "snow day" and the office was closed because of the snowstorm that happened Sunday.

Yeah, how awesome is that?

Well, it's so awesome that I decided to do some spring cleaning.

On a snow day.

Go figure.

It's what happens in March in Nebraska.

By the way it's supposed to be 69 degrees here on Friday.  I have a snow day Monday and shorts by Friday.

Welcome to the heartland.

And welcome to my mess in the basement.

Specifically the cookie area.

Dave has pretty much given up the idea of having a "man cave."  Nothing says manly like a place overrun by cookie cutters and sprinkles.

I knew I needed more storage. 

I was starting to get all itchy and antsy each time I rounded the corner.  I don't handle disorganization well.

So in the interest of my sanity and possibly my marriage I went to the good 'ole red bulls eye (that's Target for those of you who are a step behind).

50 smack-a-roos later I came home with this.  Actually it was free with the gift card my brother gave me for my birthday.  How thoughtful of him to buy me a shelf.  How'd he know I wanted one?

Isn't she a beaut?

Here is where some people would post pictures of the organizing process.

Here is where I tell you I forgot.

Plus, let's be honest.  It's boring.

The final product is all we're interested in.

I even have a place to hang up my new apron that my sister-in-law gave me for Christmas.  It has my logo embroidered on it.  I love it. 

I also organized all my cookie cutters again (aka: put them away in the designated bins) and placed all my sugars and sprinkles into small canning jars so they are easy to access, store and heck...they're just pretty to look at.

Plus it basically gives me an entire second table to be able to use while decorating.

Oh, what will I do with the space?

Let me count the ways!

Good thing too because I've got to get started on some Easter cookies, 4 dozen cookies I'm shipping to troops overseas as a part of "Operation Cookie Takeover," and making my grandma her March installment of Cookie Club.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Cookies & A Camera

One of my closest friends asked if I'd make some cookies that she could hand out at her photography booth at a wedding expo this Sunday.

I was happy to oblige...and it allowed me to try this nifty thing I saw on one of my mostest favoritest blog ever.  Yes, I'm aware that's not great English.

Me smart.

The blog I'm referring to is "The Sweet Adventures of Sugarbelle" and the amazing Callye.  She posted back last month about how to use your airbrush to make lace patterns on a cookie. 

Seriously.  How ingenious.

I'm not even going to try to explain need to read her blog to see.  Not to mention read every other post she has.  It's just that good.

So I read...and then re-read the blog post to make sure I didn't mess up.  And away I went with my fingers crossed.

Step 1: Flood cookies (white works the best...however I'm not opposed to trying other colors) and let dry.

Step 2: Buy lace and a embroidery hoop.  Put lace into embroidery hoop so it's tight.

Step 3: Place one or two cookies (depending on their size) onto a cookie sheet. 

Step 4: Go shopping or take a nap.  Kidding.  Just seeing if you're paying attention.

Step 4 (for real): Put the lace & hoop over the cookies.

Step 5: Get your airbrush gun ready (yeah, so I forgot to take a picture of that...sue me.)  Load it with whatever color you'd like to use.  I picked purple, black and blue. 

And spray away lightly over the two cookies.

Step 6: Lift the embroidery hoop directly off of the cookie.  Don't smudge, drag it across the cookie or do anything to mess with the top of it.  It's wet becuase of the airbrushing. 

Don't you feel like a genius?

Step 7: Spray the rest of the zillion of cookies you have.  Switching colors and putting in clean lace whenever you feel like it.

Then let them dry overnight.  And the next morning wake up, forget it was day light savings and bum around the house thinking it was 9:30 am, but in reality it was 10:30 am. 

Finally realize the time change, freak out and beg your husband to help you packaged them and drive in a mini-blizzard to deliver the cookies at exactly 11:30 am. Right. When. The. Wedding. Expo. Started.

Nothing like arriving by the hair of your chinny-chin-chin.

At least they looked pretty.  Right?

Thursday, March 7, 2013

My Husband's Favorite Store

This could also be titled "The place where my Dad made a seat out of nothing because he was bored."

I, however, was not.

Neither was my mom.

Let me backup a little.

This past Friday my husband and I left to go to New York City with my parents.  It was a trip that was supposed to happen last November.

Then something called "Hurricane Sandy" decided to visit and apparently it wasn't a good time to go to NYC.

I'm not sure why?

So we rescheduled.  To March.

And we went.

And it was wonderful.

We had New York Pizza...

Visited the 9-11 Memorial...

Had some harrowing cab rides, walked miles (at least it felt like that many) and saw lots other fun places.

One of which was visiting a bakery supply store.

Yes, I am that person who googles cookie or bakery stores when I visit cities. 

I am not ashamed.  At all.

So imagine my joy when I found NY Cake.  It's a magical place.  I could spend loads of money.

Good thing they have an online store.  You can visit it here.  And thank me later.

So we visited it on our trip and I found lots.  But I only brought home a small amount.  I shocked myself. 

I apparently had restraint?

Dave was shocked that I had most of, or should I say a majority of, these cutters.

(I borrowed this image from here)

Yes.  I am aware that I may, MAY, have a slight problem.

But you'll be happy to know I only came home with these.

And my parents fed into my habit by purchasing the triangle cutters and the square cutters...

...oh and they also bought me some disco dust.

Isn't it a pretty rainbow?

They package and sell their own.  Same price as other places, but I've never seen so many colors in one place.

Now I can't wait to start using them.  Good thing it's almost Easter.  A perfect time to test each one out.

Don't you think?

Friday, March 1, 2013

Here I am!!

Yes, it seems that I've disappeared for awhile. I'm apparently still suffering from my cookie hangover. Over two months ago.


However I have been making cookies. Really.

I made some for my brothers birthday. Valentines ones for my grandma, friends and people at the office. Then some Birthday cookies for another friend.

And then this week two different sets of 2nd Birthday cookies as well as birthday cookies for my cousins.

And now I'm in New York on vacation. Hoping to find myself more baking paraphernalia.

So until then I'll leave you with pictures of cookies I've made in the last month.